Summary: The symbolism of the fig tree parables tells us the importance of producing spiritual fruit and being ready for Jesus return
Opening Video Illustration: Time to Go from Bluefish Tv (3 min)
Theme: Time Management
“God created me—and you—to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion—namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life.”
― John Piper, Don't Waste Your Life
Last week I asked the Question: How many here want to change the world for the “Good?” Most of you raised your hand and said you did. Did you have a chance to do that this week? Did you reach out to someone and help them? Do a random act of kindness for someone not expecting it?
Thesis: The world we live in knows the importance of Time Management but where they miss the mark is on what they prioritize - which usually is some of following: personal gain, financial success, fame and power. The Bible also speaks about Time Management but God through His Word prioritizes things differently than our world. His big four in regards to Time Management are faith in Him, fellowship with Him, relationship with others and sharing your story with others.
God wants us to use our precious time wisely and not foolishly. You may be thinking how do we do this? We do this by using our time wisely by investing it in eternal things rather than temporal things – those temporary things will rot a way, fade away and in the end have no eternal value. The goal of time management according to Jesus and His parables is to use your time wisely and not waste it on the wrong thing. We need to be focused on the Kingdom of Heaven/The Kingdom of God in our Christian lives. We need to build things that have eternal value and reward - not waste our precious time on things that have no real value.
So what is effective time management according to Jesus?
Paul answers that question for us in Colossians 3: 23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
T.S. - Our current series is based on Jesus Parables and learning how to effectively use our time for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Sermon: The Fig Tree
Opening Scripture Text on the Fig Tree:
The Parable of the Fig Tree, the Vineyard owner and Gardner: Luke 13:6-9:
3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
The Symbolism of the Fig tree in the OT helps us to get a framework for our parables on the fig tree:
The Bible Story of God is linked with trees (Genesis 2) – in the Garden of Eden we have a reference that Adam and Eve could eat of any tree except one. We also know there were two special trees in the Garden one called the Tree of Life and the other the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (They could not touch or eat of this one) and we all know they could not resist the later one after being tempted by the Devil so they ate the forbidden fruit and ended up banished from the Garden of Eden. This is how Genesis starts out – in involves a tree – We hear the story of how we got separated from God but by the time you get to the end of the Bible (Revelation 22) we have the reference to the Tree of Life again it is in Heaven by the River of Life. We are told at this point in history all Christians will be allowed literally back into the Paradise Of God that was once lost and we will get to eat of this Tree of life!
Trees seem to be an active part of the Story of the Lord both figuratively, symbollically and practically throughout the Bible.